Special Needs Acronyms

Are you confused by all of the various acronyms touted in IEP meetings and documents? Well below we have a list of acronyms for you to use as a reference during meetings and at home.

Do you know of any we’ve missed? (There always seem to be new ones)

Let us know:


AAC- Augmentative &Alternative Communication

ABA-Applied Behavior Analysis

ADA-American Disability Act

ADD-Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADI-Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised

ADOS-Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale

ALJ- Administrative Law Judge

APE-Adapted Physical Education

ASD-Autism Spectrum Disorder

AT-Assistive Technology


BA-Behavioral Aide


BD-Behavioral Disorder

BICM-Behavior Intervention Case Manager

BIP-Behavior Intervention Plan

BSP-Behavior Support Plan

CAC-Community Advisory Committee

CAHSEE-California High School Exit Examination

CARS- Childhood Autism Rating Scale

CASP-California Association of School Psychologist

CCR-California Code of Regulations

CCS-California Children’s Services

CDE-California Department of Education

CEC-Council for Exceptional Children

CFR-Code of Federal Regulations

CHAT-Checklist for Autism in Toddlers

CMH- County Mental Health

DHH-Deaf & Hard of Hearing

DIS-Designated Instruction & Services

DMH-Department of Mental Health

DSM-IV-Diagnostic & Statistical Manual

ED-Emotional Disturbed

EHA-Education for All Handicapped Children Act

EL-English Learner

ELS-English as a Second Language

ESY- Extended School Year

FAA-Functional Analysis Assessment

FAPE-Free Appropriate Public Education

FBA-Functional Behavior Assessment

FERPA-Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

HI-Hearing Impaired

HOH-Hard of Hearing

IA-Instructional Aide

ID- Intellectual Delayed

IDEA-Indiviuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004

IEP-Individual Education Program

IFSP-Individual Family Service Plan

IPP-Individual Program Plan

ISP-Individual Services Plan

ITP-Individual Transition Plan

IWEN-Individual with Exceptional Needs

LCI-Licensed Children’s Institute

LD-Learning Disability

LEA-Local Education Agency

LEP-Limited English Proficient

LI-Learning Impaired

LRE-Least Restrictive Environment

MCHAT-Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers

MR-Mentally Retarded

NCLB-No Child Left Behind

NPA-Non-Public Agency

NPS-Non-Public School

OAH-Office of Administrative Hearings

OCD-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCR-Office for Civil Rights

ODD-Oppositional Defiant Disorder

OHI-Other Health Impaired

OI-Orthopedically Impaired

O&M. Orientation and Mobility

OSEP-Office of Special Education Programs

OT-Occupational Therapy

PDD-Pervasive Developmental Disorder

PDD-NOS- Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

PECS-Picture Exchange Communication System

PRT-Pivotal Response Therapy

PT-Physical Therapy

PWN-Prior Written Notice

RSP-Resource Specialist Program

RTI-Response to Intervention

SBE-State Board of Education

SDC-Special Day Class

SELPA-Special Education Local Plan Area

SLD-Specific Learning Disability

SLI-Speech and Language Impaired

SST-Student Study Team

STAR-Standardized Testing & Reporting

TBI-Traumatic Brain Injury

TEACCH-Treatment & Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children

USC-United State Code

USDOE-United States Department of Education

VI-Visually Impaired

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